Paris and the Poor

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Rich countries that try to meet their Paris commitments will spend huge amounts of money replacing cheap, higher-emissions energy sources with expensive, lower-emissions sources. This will harm the poor and do nothing for the climate.

mercator_COP21_Paris

Australia-based MercatorNet has published my commentary on the Paris climate agreement announced two days ago. Here’s how that piece begins:

According to the headlines, the Paris climate summit has produced an “historic” agreement that will “save the world.” But don’t be fooled. Climate negotiations have long been popular with politicians. Balancing budgets and tackling unemployment is hard work. But posing as a saviour of the planet is glamorous. Fly off to exotic locales, chum around with celebrities, and then smile broadly as the media hails your courage and wisdom. What’s not to like?

Back here on planet Earth, the climate game has always been 97 percent symbolism. For a quarter of…

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